The LAPD Bought Back ‘Rocket Launchers’ That Literally Do Nothing

When I saw “Rocket Launchers Turned in During LAPD Gun Buyback” flash across my twitter stream Thursday I had to check it out. It’s not every day that a rocket launcher is paraded around outside a military base, let alone by police who picked one up for a gift card.

So of course, I clicked and read the story, written by Dennis Romero a LA Weekly.
“Cops picked up two — count ‘em two — rocket launchers!,” Romero writes.

In the story, photos show the police chief prominently holding up an AT-4 rocket launcher, which fires an 84mm projectile and is mostly used in anti-tank operations.

The problem is that it’s not a rocket launcher. It doesn’t launch rockets. It is a field handling trainer, as illustrated by the band around it along with “TRAINER” emblazoned across the side. Trainer AT-4s are non-functioning props, used to show soldiers how the weapon operates minus the big boom.

It is, quite literally, a long, green fiberglass tube that does nothing.


LegitSlater is a contributor who focuses on features primarily pertaining to state and local government as well as political parties, but has been known to dabble in other areas. LegitSlater has also been known to pinch hit for Rob when he is out and about in his worldly travels, or attending the occasional Yankees-Twins series. LegitSlater's numerous awards include the personal satisfaction received from informing the vast readership of SAB, spurring respectful debate, and hunting the trophy sacred cows which have been otherwise deemed off limits by the traditional media, elected officials, and the political parties.

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  • banjo kid

    I qualified with a rocket launcher it was called a bazooka back then and the back blast was devastating it would turn ammo boxes into tooth picks. 81 mm mortar 4.2 mortar M1 , M 14 , 45 pistol . M56 spat 90 mm , M60 machine gun , M1 carbine, and M 48 tank 90mm , all expert , I hit 397 targets out of 400 with the M48 tank. You could always get a second round hit with the M48 with burst on target . Hand grenades I threw a few of those I also covered up the officer in the tower with mud . I could tear down the breach block on the 90 in seconds and have it back together as fast and name every part as I was doing that. Am I any different than any other soldier back then , no I am not, it was in a days work . We never had rocket launchers that would not work . I did also train on the SS10 wire guided missile. but never fired one , it was to easy to turn it around and shoot yourself and your pals, it was made by the French if that tells you any thing.

  • banjo kid

    The French men would lob rounds into the PX parking lot as they had no fire direction center they just dropped it in the tube and they did not know where it would land. I also qualified with a fifty cal machine gun those were the most fun . The posts were not inline with the article I am sorry , but it is pure ignorance that they even want to buy back guns most of them are wore out and ready to be replaced they are just helping them replace their old guns with new ones.